Monthly Archives:: November 2011

Nov 26

Review * Zone One by Colson Whitehead

Reviews 0 DNF

Review * Zone One by Colson WhiteheadZone One by Colson Whitehead
Published by Doubleday on October 18, 2011
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 259
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
n this wry take on the post-apocalyptic horror novel, a pandemic has devastated the planet. The plague has sorted humanity into two types: the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead.

Now the plague is receding, and Americans are busy rebuild­ing civilization under orders from the provisional govern­ment based in Buffalo. Their top mission: the resettlement of Manhattan. Armed forces have successfully reclaimed the island south of Canal Street—aka Zone One—but pockets of plague-ridden squatters remain. While the army has eliminated the most dangerous of the infected, teams of civilian volunteers are tasked with clearing out a more innocuous variety—the “malfunctioning” stragglers, who exist in a catatonic state, transfixed by their former lives.
Mark Spitz is a member of one of the civilian teams work­ing in lower Manhattan. Alternating between flashbacks of Spitz’s desperate fight for survival during the worst of the outbreak and his present narrative, the novel unfolds over three surreal days, as it depicts the mundane mission of straggler removal, the rigors of Post-Apocalyptic Stress Disorder, and the impossible job of coming to grips with the fallen world. 

What I Thought…

I just couldn’t read any more.  I really hate to not finish books, even if they are bad, but I can’t make myself push through this any longer.  I have a few reasons why, and it’s probably the combination of them as a whole that makes me unable to continue this book.

#1 I don’t watch zombie movies and I’ve never read a zombie book.  A lot of people rave about zombies so I thought I would give it a shot.  I picked up this book cause of the end of the world theme (I LOVE end of the world themes) mixed with the zombies.  This is probably a big reason why I didn’t like the book, I just don’t like zombies.

#2 It only has 3 chapters!  This is a big pet peeve of mine.  When I am reading a book and need to stop I like to stop at the end of a chapter because it’s a natural stopping point.  I hate stopping in the middle and this book leaves you no choice.  I don’t mind having a few long chapters in books, but 90 pages is a bit ridiculous.

#3 I didn’t care for the way he wrote the book either.  I found his present day/past back and forth was very clear cut and it was sometimes confusing.

#4 The main character, Mark Spitz, was always referred to in the book as Mark Spitz.  It drove me nuts that he wasn’t just Mark.  Or just Spitz.  Or anything but his whole name.

All in all, this book just wasn’t for me.  I read the first chapter and I’m done.  Unless you REALLY love Zombies, I would stay away.


Nov 26

Challenge #5 Read Me Baby One More Time

Reading Challenges 0

Read Me Baby One More Time is a challenge hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl.
Any book you re-read from 01.01.2012 to 12.31.2012 counts as part of this challenge- and feel free to overlap with other challenges! At the end of each month I will put up a post where you can link any re-reading reviews you have written. You do not need a blog to participate, you can always comment on any of your re-reads here or on twitter, goodreads, etc.

Trip Down Memory Lane: 1-3 re-reads
Reliving the Past: 4-8 re-reads
Back To The Future: 9-12 re-reads
Groundhog Day Reader: 13-20 re-reads
You’ve Got a Serious Problem and Really Need to Go Book Shopping: 21+ re-reads

I’m going with Back to the Future: 9-12 re-reads (7 of which will be Harry Potter)

1. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
6. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
8. Bossypants by Tina Fey
9. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
10. Chain Letter by Christopher Pike
11. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake


Nov 25

Challenge #4 15,000 Pages

Reading Challenges 0

The 15,000 Page challenge is hosted by Courtney at Abducted by Books.  The goal is to read 15,000 pages by the end of the year.

Total Pages
The Litigators John Grisham 385 385
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer Michelle Hodkin 452 837
Winter’s Bone Daniel Woodrell 141 978
Divergent Veronica Roth 487 1465
Ten Things We Did… Sarah Mlynowski 194 1659
9th Judgment James Patterson 355 2014
10th Anniversary James Patterson 395 2409
Lock and Key Sarah Dessen 422 2831
Before I Fall Lauren Oliver 448 3279
Anna Dressed in Blood Kendare Blake 316 3595
Everneath Brodi Ashton 370 3965
Ballads of Suburbia Stephanie Keuhnert 316 4281
Deadly Cool Gemma Halliday 303 4584
Unearthly Cynthia Hand 262 4846
I’ve Got You’re Number Sophie Kinsella 433 5279
Hallowed Cynthia Hand 249 5528
Article 5 Kristen Simmons 238 5766
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Stieg Larsson 590 6356
The Goddess Test Aimee Carter 293 6649
Goddess Interrupted Aimee Carter 289 6938
Under the Never Sky Veronica Rossi 254 7192
The Vanishing Game Kate Kae Myers 240 7432
Lola and the Boy Next Door Stephanie Perkins 338 7770
The Statistically Probability of Love at First Sight Jennifer E Smith 236 8006
Somebody to Love Kristan Higgins 416 8422
The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins 374 8796
Anna and the French Kiss Stephanie Perkins 372 9168
The Girl Who Played with Fire Stieg Larsson 625 9793
Wither Lauren DeStefano 358 10,151
The Name of the Star Maureen Johnson 372 10,523
White Cat Holly Black 310 10,833
Pandemonium Lauren Oliver 375 11,208
The DUFF Kody Keplinger 277 11,485
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist Rachel Cohn and David Levithan 183 11,668
Social Suicide Gemma Halliday 272 11,940
The Ghost and the Goth Stacey Kade 281 12,221
Girl of Nightmares Kendare Blake 304 12,525
Insurgent Veronica Roth 535 13,060
Hana Lauren Oliver 48 13,108
Partials Dan Wells 468 13,576
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Seth Grahame-Smith 253 13,829
Glimmer Phoebe Kitanidis 352 14,181
Heist Society Ally Carter 287 14,468
The Fault in Our Stars John Green 318 14,786
Hourglass Myra McEntire 384 15,170

Challenge Complete on May 24, 2012.


Nov 24

Challenge #3 A to Z Challenge

A to Z Challenge, Reading Challenges 0

Strawberry Splash Reviews

I have always wanted to read A to Z in a year.  The A to Z Reading Challenge is hosted by Strawberry Splash Reviews.
There are three possible challenges you can partake in.
1. Author – A to Z by authors last name, 26 books.
2. Title – A to Z by book title, 26 books.
3. Double Whammy – Do both Challenge 1 and 2 for a total 52 books.

I chose to do the Titles

Here’s my progress:

A: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
B: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
C: Cleopatra’s Daughter (reviewed on goodreads) by Michelle Moran
D: Divergent by Veronica Roth
E: Everneath by Brodi Ashton
F: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
G: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
H: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
I: I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
J: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
L: The Litigators by John Grisham

M: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
N: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
O: Origin by Jessica Khoury
P: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Q: Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade
R: Reliquary (reviewed on goodreads) by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston
S: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith
T: Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) (reviewed on goodreads)
U: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
V: The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers
W: Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell
Y: You’re Next  (reviewed on goodreads) by Greg Hurwitz


Nov 24

Challenge #2 Mixing it Up

Reading Challenges 4

Mixing It Up
Mixing it Up
is hosted by Musings of a Bookshop Girl

The premise is really very simple. It’s all about mixing up your reading, pushing your boundaries and exploring new genres. Take a look at the categories below, and choose one book for each category. It’s that easy! You can choose to try anything from a gentle 4 to the full 16 different genres, and the book you pick for each is entirely up to you!

My Goal 9-12 Categories. (Aiming for 12)

My books:

1. Classics –
2. Biography –
3. Cookery, Food and Wine – The Happy Baker by Erin Bolger
4. History
5. Modern Fiction – The Litigators by John Grisham
6. Graphic Novels and Manga – Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
7. Crime and Mystery – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson
8. Horror – Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
9. Romance – Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins
10. Science Fiction and Fantasy – 11/22/63 by Stephen King
11. Travel
12. Poetry and Drama –
13. Journalism and Humor – Bossypants by Tina Fey
14. Science and Natural History – Bonk by Mary Roach (review is on goodreads only)
15. Children’s and Young Adult – The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
16. Social Sciences and Philosophy


Nov 24

Challenge #1 What’s in a Name 5

Reading Challenges 8

What’s in a Name 5 is hosted by Beth Fish Reads

The goal is to read one book from each of the following categories.

My books:
1. Topographical Feature – On The Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves
2. Something You’d See in the Sky – The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
3. Creepy Crawly –
4. Type of House –
5. Something You’d Carry in Your Pocket, Purse, or Backpack –Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
6. Something You’d Find on a Calendar – 11/22/63 by Stephen King


Nov 24

Happy Thanksgiving!

Holiday 0

Gary M. Stolz, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  I love getting together with my family (as crazy as they may be) and spending the day watching football, eating, playing games and of course some playful arguing.  Unfortunately we’ve already had little Thanksgiving stress.  We are eating during the Packer game so that my uncle can get to Best Buy by 4pm.  Still trying to work out a solution for this problem.  But hopefully before 12:30 today we can figure it out.  (The current solution is to eat in 15 min and go back to the game.  This doesn’t sit well with me.  Half the fun of Thanksgiving is sitting around and talking after you eat.)
Another one of the reasons I love Thanksgiving is because it’s the start of Christmas season.  I love this time of year.  Decorating the house, making cookies, holiday parties, looking at all the Christmas lights.  This year I will have even more excitement because I will be flying home for Christmas.

This year I have so much to be thankful for.  My new house and my new job.  My parents who help out a lot, and ask for so little in return.  My brother who works way too hard and way too much and his wife who puts up with him.  The rest of my family and friends.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.  And remember, today’s calories don’t count!


Nov 15

Review * Dedication by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

Reviews 0 ★★★

Review * Dedication by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola KrausDedication by Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus
Published by Atria on June 5, 2007
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 279
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
What if your ex was famous and adored by millions? What would you do if you had one chance to make him regret his entire existence? How much would you risk?
Kate Hollis's ex-boyfriend's face plasters newsstands and TV, the Internet, and the multiplex. Jake Sharpe is one of the biggest recording stars on the planet, and every song he's famous for is about Kate. For over a decade his soundtrack has chased her -- from the gym to the supermarket, from the dentist's office to the bars. Now thirty-year-old Kate gets the call that Jake has finally landed back in their Vermont hometown for an MTV special. The moment she has been waiting for has arrived.

What I Thought…

I have to admit, this book sat on my bookshelf for well over a year, possibly two.  While I enjoyed the Nanny Diaries I just couldn’t seem to pick up this book.  I was looking at my shelf in preparation for the 24 hour readathon and it finally caught my eye.  I didn’t get to finish it during the readathon (Dome took up most of my time) but I really wished I would have read it sooner.

This book is not a deep read, but it was very enjoyable.  I loved the flipping back and forth between past and present (and the nostalgia of the 80’s), and I really loved the ending (it was just what I hoped for).  It was pleasing to see that none of the characters were perfect (or with that one fatal flaw) as you so often find in these types of books.  My only complaint was that Kate, a 30 year old, sometimes (ok, a lot) tended to act like a teenager.  Throwing fits, illogical reasoning and so on.  But I also know (as I am 30 years old myself) that sometimes certain people bring out your immaturity.

Overall, McLaughlin and Kraus didn’t disappoint with a quick, funny read.


Nov 09

I never would have read this book if it wasn’t for…

Misc 0

I do not consider myself an eclectic reader.  There are many, many genres I don’t read.  I don’t really read fantasy, sci-fi, horror, historicals, plays, poems, graphic novels, non fiction (this might be my least favorite), futuristic and anything else I consider weird.  But as I think about it (and look at my bookshelf) I realize that I’ve actually read quite a few books in these genres, many of which I would have never picked up on my own.

I never would have read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (JK Rowling) if my mom wasn’t late getting home from work.  My mom bought these books for my brother to hopefully get him interested into reading.  He was reading the first one and my mom and read quite a bit of it too and they were talking about how great it was.  And typical me I was like witches?  wizards?  magic?  No thanks.  But one day I was chillin on the couch waiting for my mom to come home and there was nothing on tv so I picked up this book.  By the time she got home I was so engrossed in the book that we stayed in for dinner instead so I could read.  I quickly gobbled up books 1 & 3, and the rest immediately upon their release.

I never would have read Coming of Age in Mississippi (Anne Moody) if it wasn’t required in English 202.  Nonfiction.  Ugh.  We were required to read this book over the course of the semester.  I read it in a week.  Takes place before civil rights so it’s sad, but beautifully written.  This is the only nonfiction book that I can think of that I really really liked.

I never would have read Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) if it wasn’t for fellow book club member Kate (midnightbookgirl) talking about it non stop before the release of Mockingjay.  And I really mean that too.  She talked about it so much that I really felt like I was missing out so even though it’s a sci-fic/futuristic/fantasy kids-killing-kids book I decided to give it a go.  And it was sooooo worth it.  I was completely captivated by the book, as well as Catching Fire and Mocking Jay.  I’m not really sure what it says about me that I wasn’t bothered by the kids-killing-kids aspect of the book.

 I never would have read Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi) if it wasn’t for Women’s Studies 101.  This was probably the worst class I ever took.  I hated my teacher (who needs men?  not us).  We watched awful videos that still make me cringe.  And the text book was from the late 80’s (I took this class in early 2000’s, but still way out of date).  I wasn’t particually interested in reading this book either.  It already had three strikes – graphic novel, women’s studies book and a memoir.  I really got into the book.  It’s funny, serious and heartbreaking all at one time.  Being a graphic novel the pictures gave it a different feel.  I’m not sure I would pick up another graphic novel, but I enjoyed this one.

You can’t always judge a book by it’s genre.


Nov 06

Rise to Rebellion

Reviews 0 ★★★★

Rise to RebellionRise to Rebellion by Jeff Shaara
Series: American Revolutionary War #1
Published by Ballantine on July 3, 2001
Genres: Adult, Historical
Pages: 492
Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed
Add to: Goodreads
In 1770, the fuse of revolution is lit by a fateful command—“Fire!”—as England’s peacekeeping mission ignites into the Boston Massacre. The senseless killing of civilians leads to a tumultuous trial in which lawyer John Adams must defend the very enemy who has assaulted and abused the laws he holds sacred.

The taut courtroom drama soon broadens into a stunning epic of war as King George III leads a reckless and corrupt government in London toward the escalating abuse of his colonies. Outraged by the increasing loss of their liberties, an extraordinary gathering of America’s most inspiring characters confronts the British presence with the ideals that will change history.

John Adams, the idealistic attorney devoted to the law, who rises to greatness by the power of his words . . . Ben Franklin, one of the most celebrated men of his time, the elderly and audacious inventor and philosopher who endures firsthand the hostile prejudice of the British government . . . Thomas Gage, the British general given the impossible task of crushing a colonial rebellion without starting an all-out war . . . George Washington, the dashing Virginian whose battle experience in the French and Indian War brings him the recognition that elevates him to command of a colonial army . . . and many other immortal names from the Founding Family of the colonial struggle—Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Joseph Warren, Samuel Adams, Richard Henry Lee— captured as never before in their full flesh-and-blood humanity.

What I Thought…

I’ve always loved American History, especially the Revolutionary War time, so this book has been on my TBR pile for awhile now.  Despite the fact that I own the book I decided to pick up the audiobook at the library to listen to while I work.  The audio book is read by Victor Garber and he was great.  He did a great job with the character voices, including British and American accents.  My only complaint about the audio book was that it was the abridged version!  Apparently the unabridged version is really hard to find (even amazon didn’t have it).  So now I am going to have to read the book to get the parts I missed.

I enjoyed this book much more than my failed attempt to read 1776 by David G McCullough back in high school.  This book was history as a story, which made it even better than the facts I learned in school.  There were times where I really felt that I was right there, witnessing what happened (especially the Boston Tea Party).  It had all your major revolutionary events with some personal touches by the characters as well.  I can’t wait to pick up the sequel, The Glorious Cause.